Steps 1-8 in Forgiving Others
During the last three weeks, I’ve been writing about forgiving others. In this final devotional for this series, I’m listing all eight steps together.
Step One: Acknowledge. In your journey to forgive someone, acknowledge that you have been hurt and express it to God.
Step Two: Admit. Admit that you are angry toward or resent the person who has wounded you.
Step Three: Accept. Stop blaming others and accept responsibility for your own attitude and behavior.
Step Four: Ask. Ask for forgiveness appropriate to the offense committed, at the appropriate time, in an appropriate Christlike manner.
Step Five: Act. Put your anger and resentment behind you. Forgive, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
Step Six: Abandon. Relinquish and abandon the outcome of your forgiveness.
Step Seven: Abide. Forgive and keep forgiving from your heart.
Step Eight: Affirm. Pray God’s blessing on those who mistreated you.
Action Step #1: Perhaps you have walked your way through these eight steps. You know what it means to be forgiven by God. You know what it means to forgive others. You stand among those who can say with confidence, “My conscience is clear before God and others” (Acts 24:16).
Celebrate the freedom of forgiveness! Rejoice!
Action Step #2: Perhaps, however, the Lord has shown you someone whom you have not forgiven from your heart. You see the name and face of that person. Today deal with your lack of forgiveness. God sees it. You know it.
Draw a circle around you and God. Talk to God about all this and ask him to forgive you. No matter what the other person does or does not do to change, take responsibility for your part.
Put the issue behind you. Forgive that person. In the days ahead, continue to forgive and release that person and choose to forget it. Pray God’s blessing on that person.
Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).
~ Pastor Dave